Spitting, Swearing Portillo Diners Charged With Assault and Battery

Cops say employees banded together to toss alleged obnoxious patrons out of restaurant.


Three Chicago residents were arrested on assorted assault and battery charges following a New Year’s Day disturbance at an Oak Lawn restaurant, reports said.

Oak Lawn police were dispatched to Portillo’s restaurant at 4020 W. 95th St. around 8:30 p.m. Jan. 1, after it was reported that several unauthorized people were behind the counter.

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When the cops arrived, employees directed them toward the parking lot where several diners allegedly involved in the disturbance were sitting in a red mini-van.

Officers said that when they approached the van, they could detect a strong odor of alcohol inside.

One of the passengers, a woman identified as Jessica Thomas, 22, of Chicago, was hollering at the officer so loudly he could not understand what she was saying. Asking her to speak in tone that would enable the officer to understand what happened inside the restaurant, reports said that Thomas continued to scream using vulgar language.

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Police said the other occupants in the van--six in total—were moving around inside and making comments during Thomas’s tirade. Officers ordered everyone outside of the van.

Thomas and another man allegedly refused to cooperate with police and move to a sidewalk away from the drive-thru lane. After continuing to scream and refusing to listen to verbal commands, Thomas was handcuffed because police said her “actions showed she might officers or flee,” reports said.

An employee told police that Thomas and her group were standing by the order pickup counter. The employee notice Thomas staring at her when the employee asked if needed help. According to the report, Jessica mimicked the employee and responded, “Can I help you?”

Police said the employee believed that Thomas was about to cause a disturbance, so she called for her manager. As she did that, one of the females in the dining party said, “Yew, call the boss lady.”

Thomas and two other members of the group identified as Victoria Smith, 24, and Jermaine Hare, 24, both of Chicago, allegedly walked behind the counter.  According to the report, “they were screaming and trying to start a fight with the manager.” 

A male employee stepped in front of his manager as Smith allegedly spit in his face. Police said that the commotion called such a disturbance that restaurant employees rallied together and forced all six subjects outside where they locked restaurant’s door and called 911.

The manager and employee positively identified Thomas, Smith and Hare. All three were taken into custody and taken to the Oak Lawn police station.

While in lockup, police said that Thomas continued screaming obscenities from her cell. She also refused to stop kicking and hitting the cell door, reports aid.

Police were acquiring restaurant surveillance video at the time of the report. No court information was available.

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Catch up on the week's POLICE news:

  • POLICE BLOTTER: December Burglaries and Break-Ins
  • Robbins Police Chief Charged with DUI Abruptly Retires
  • 5 Men Plead Guilty to Restaurant Attack: Court Watch
  • Second Prison Escapee Arrested in Palos Hills (UPDATE)
  • Hooters Diner Dust Up Leads to Assault and Battery Charges

George Pickett January 10, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Concerned January 10, 2013 at 08:53 PM
It's not the residents of Oak Lawn who are causing all the problems, it is the outsiders that visit our establishments, whichever ones they may be. It is such a shame outsiders seem to be the deciding factor in what new business comes into our suburb. Oak Lawn seems to be afraid to let anything be built for our 21and under crowd for activities. We have space for a roller rink, waterpark, arcade/gaming facilities (I'm talking about 111th and Cicero), but we are afraid of what it will draw to our suburb. Well, then make stricter rules, and have security, but ENFORCE the rules!! We all have to drive outside of our beautiful suburb to do alot of activities!! Bring the fun back to Oak Lawn, we are not a dying community, there are alot of young familes here and moving into this beautiful suburb. Let's not let the outsiders rule our decision making here. It is so sad to watch us fall apart. We need to take back our community!!
George Pickett January 11, 2013 at 04:50 AM
STM January 11, 2013 at 11:32 AM
I strongly agree on every point of your comment, Concerned. I remember back in the day at 95-th st. just west of Pulaski the amusement park and on 95-th, st. where Chicago ridge mall is, the drive in movie theater. Those were the fun days. I think those days are gone. What the court system and our government should do is penalize the criminals more harshly, like an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth thing. Our system is too lenient. You get 10 years in jail for murder and 20 years for robbing a bank. This does not make sense. Bring back the death penalty.
TheUNowen January 14, 2013 at 09:45 PM
To the male employee who steped in front of your manager, you deserve an award and a pay raise! Good job sir there aren't many employees like you around anymore!!!


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